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5 Tips for Magical Disney World Savings

by Ashley Metz on March 20, 2014

I have this secret dream to be one of those extreme couponers. Seriously, I try everything I can to save a penny. I celebrate a BOGO, I triumph over a good mark down, and I go gaga for a good discount code. I’ll be the first to admit that my savings plan probably shakes at it knees compared to some of the super savers I know out there. But my thought is that any amount of money I can save is a better than saving nothing! Today I’m sharing with you some of the things I do to save money while enjoying my time at Disney World. Let’s get started with 5 tips for magical Disney World savings!

1. Split a meal

Disney World savings

Alright, don’t abandon me on this one. I’ve found that Disney dishes up more than enough for one person to enjoy. Splitting a meal is a great way to watch the waist and the wallet! I’ve even split a dish at a table service restaurant (I asked first, I know some restaurants don’t like you to do that or will charge to split the plates).

Disney World savings

With all the eating there is to do at Disney, splitting a meal is a really good choice. I leave feeling satisfied and not stuffed to the gill. There’s always going to be room for a salted carmel from Karamell-Kuche!

2. Pack snacks

Packing snacks to bring with you into the parks is a great way to save money. I won’t say that I go as far as making no snack purchase throughout the day, but I do pack a few snacks to satisfy the low blood sugar grumpiness and pre-dinner belly grumbles. Packing a few snacks and a bottle of water is a great way to save money in the parks (no Mickey Bars will be harmed in the home packing nature of the aforementioned snacks).

3. Go for water

Ordering water (and not bottled water) is a great way to realize Disney World savings. When the average soda costs around $2.00 at a typical (non-Disney restaurant), you can bet that you’ll be paying a pretty penny in the parks. Skipping a soda will allow you to save (or splurge) in other ways! Water is free and it is good for the body! Go H2O!

4. Take advantage of FREE souvenirs

Disney World savings

Saving on souvenirs is hard, especially when you’re me and you have a teensy problem with buying Disney merchandise like it’s going out of style. One way that I save on souvenirs is to plan out my purchases during the week and buy on the last day (OK, so that doesn’t always work out so well). I also take advantage of “freebies” like the drawings you get to take home from the Animation Academy, or stickers from throughout the park, or a Duffy Bear on a stick from EPCOT. I won’t say that it is impossible to come out of Disney World without buying one thing, although it is VERY hard for me to do this. I try my best to take advantage of a good deal when I can and capitalize on the free!

5. BYO

Disney World savings

BYO…that means Bring Your Own! That’s right; I’m talking about the incidentals that could quickly accrue on your credit card.  From ponchos to fans, sunglasses to sunscreen and everything in between, packing your own items can save you a lot of money!  People might call you an over packer when you stuff a poncho in your park bag (on a seemingly sunny day), but they’ll be super jealous when you whip that bad boy out in the middle of a Florida monsoon. Save money, think smart!

I hope these tips have caused you to think about how little things can lead to big Disney World savings. It isn’t about not having fun, it’s just about saving a few bucks when you can! What are your best tips to save money in the parks? You be the expert in the comment section below! Share your Disney World savings tips with us all, my frugal friends!

Until next time, keep it magical!

Ashley is the author of Disney: Done Right Blog and a writer for Chip and Co. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter!

Tags: Disney World

Comments
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Steph D Mar 20, 2014 at 8:27 p.m.

Our big money-saver when it comes to Character dining is booking brunches. Breakfasts tend to be slightly cheaper than lunches, but offer all-you-can-eat all the same. In fact, in some instances, we've been in the restaurant during the switch from breakfast to lunch fare, and had the chance to pick from either offering.

Having a light breakfast before heading to the park gets you in nice and early, and then you can have a nice brunch around 10:45 before taking on the rest of the park, including letting you take advantage of shorter ride wait times during regular lunch time.

Reply
Ashley Metz Mar 23, 2014 at 10:54 p.m.

Steph, awesome tips! I especially love the perk of getting to the parks nice and early! LOVE those shorter ride wait times!

Reply
Jim Apr 9, 2014 at 2:45 p.m.

Excellent article. Here's a couple more.

1. For me parking is the big issue. We tried parking at Downtown Disney, and bussing it. Do-able, but it chews up a lot of time so you have to decide what's more important. Parking is free at the Water Parks.

2. Souvenirs are cheaper at department stores, and Disney Outlets. Trust me, it's all OFFICIAL Disney merchandise. If it wasn't, the Disney police would be all over them.

3. Another good souvineer idea is to take pictures wearing Disney hats at the Disney Stores. That's if you are not scared of Coodies!

4. And another is the souvenir penney machines which are all over the place. 50 cents plus a pennie and the machine presses the pennie into a souvenir of your choice. You can also get a special holder for them.

5. Homemade Passports for Epcot. I saw a family who made their own with their own hand drawn maps on the individual pages for each country where they got them stamped.

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Sue Apr 9, 2014 at 5:17 p.m.

A big saver for me is also eating off the kids menu at the counter service restaurants, you can eat enough to keep you satisfied and not break the bank, we also eat breakfast in our room we bring the cereal that comes in the bowl already, some plastic spoons and parmalat milk (shelf stable milk) and voila breakfast, another way to save is to bring water bottles, and when you must have a diet coke (it's sometimes a necessity) we get the large and split it! Also we get t'shirts at the Disney store for about $5 before we go and then we wear them during the trip...

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carrie Oct 21, 2014 at 8:10 p.m.

We're heading to Disney next week and would like to save some money by packing snacks/lunches to bring into the park. What do you do with your bags while on rides, etc? I don't want to smush my sammies! Would also like to avoid trekking all over the park to get back to the locker area...are there other lunch-packing options/ideas??

Reply
FrogBlog Oct 22, 2014 at 11:40 a.m.

Hi Carrie,

I think the lockers are the best bet if you don't want to carry the bag around with you. Of course, if you have little ones, you could leave the bag with the stroller. While I'd be worried about smushing sammies too, do know that many folks carry backpacks and other bags onto many of the rides without issue. Just know it won't work on everything like Space Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Does anyone else have any suggestions?

Best,

Mommy Frog

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